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The Legacy: Book Two of the Lane Trilogy

The Legacy: Book Two of the Lane Trilogy

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The Legacy: Book Two of the Lane Trilogy

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Apr 26, 2016


Who reveals Lyza Lane's secret? Find out how her father reacts to the news that his legacy is in danger. Lyza's world turns upside down more than once. David stands by Lyza, but is he the man God chose for her?

What changes Leesa Lane from the sweet little sister to a no-holds-barred corporate mogul? Her dreams for Kramer's Island crumble before her eyes. The love of her life rejects her, sending her on a downhill spiral.

What tragedy ends Lawrence's thirty-five years of faithful marriage? Will Cook's faith remain strong? And what happens when Chuck O'Malley shows up in LA?
Apr 26, 2016

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The Legacy - Vicki Andree


Chapter One

Who’s the new guy? Tim Young whispered into Leesa Lane’s bejeweled ear. Everyone’s curious about Lyza’s escort tonight. No one seems to know him from anywhere. Did she bring him from one of her long-distance projects?

Really, Tim, do you think I know all of Lyza’s business? We’re sisters, not clones.

Tim sounded desperate. Yes, but you’re twins. You have some kind of special ESP, right? Don’t hold out on us. He could be a good contact for future business. What family does he represent? Are they in investments, oil, real estate? Come on; give me some info!

Leesa chuckled. She knew Lyza’s escort, but what little information she had about him would not be shared. She had made a pact with her sister not to reveal anything she knew about David Gabriel. But the fact that she knew so little made it difficult not to be drawn into the curiosity of the others.

Tim continued his speculation. Come on, what does he do? He reeks of power. What corporation does Daddy own? Now there’s a confident man dancing with one of the richest women in the world.

They sat at a small table next to the expanse of polished hardwood dance floor inside the Lane Mansion. The slow dance music played by the full orchestra reflected Leesa’s mother’s favorites from the forties. They sat alone at a table for eight. Leesa wanted to dance, but Tim wanted to talk. He wanted to ask questions about her sister. Questions, questions, questions. When will he shut up and ask me to dance? Finally Leesa could stand it no longer.

Get a grip, Tim. Maybe we’ll find out something on the dance floor. She nodded toward the exquisite couple dancing past them in a slow, romantic clutch.

Tim jumped up, remembering both his manners and that his date was the daughter of the hostess. He held out his hand in an overdone gesture of gallantry.

May I have this dance, Miss Leesa?

She took hold of his hand. I’d be delighted.

On the dance floor, he gently guided them through the crowd toward Lyza and her mystery date.

Didn’t I see them together at the Lady Gaga concert last week?

She grinned, but could tell he was not amused. Like I said, Tim, I don’t know. I don’t have Lyza’s calendar either, so give me a break. There’s a new guy in town. Get over it. Besides, you can relax; he’s no threat to you!

"All right. I’ll get my information elsewhere. And if it’s true that you don’t know anything, I’ll be sure not to share what I find out. Take that, you wicked woman." He swung her around as the music switched from the slow dance to the fifties-style jitterbug.

Now this is more like it. Leesa laughed. Thank Heaven Mother only throws this benefit once a year.

Leesa smiled at Lyza across the crowded dance floor, giving her a thumbs-up behind Tim’s back. There would be questions tonight, but Leesa was assuring her sister that nothing had thus far been revealed. Then Leesa bumped into Gary and his dancing partner.

Oops, excuse us. Tim leaned over. Gary, didn’t you escort Lyza to this shindig last year?

Guilty as charged. Last year, and each of the three years before. Leesa, remember how we all sneaked out early year before last and went bowling? He stopped short. Those were the days. Life goes on; maybe we’ve all grown up. I know you all thought I had a thing for her, and maybe I did at one time, but after the plane crash, she changed.

Gary’s date said, What! You can’t be serious. I mean about the bowling.

Tim winked at Leesa. Oh, he’s serious. Leesa and I went along, and it was a lot of fun. We got away with sneaking out and felt like successful criminals!

Evidently we did get away with it, because I got an invitation and had to come tonight. Gary gave his date a hug. But I forgive them. Julie’s wanted to attend the ‘Save the Orchids’ benefit for years. Who’s Lyza’s date tonight?

Leesa rolled her eyes at Gary’s partner. Who cares? Oh, that’s right, everybody! Leesa wasn’t having fun anymore, so she decided to put speculation to an end. He’s our cousin from Indianapolis.

Gary looked ashen. That’s your cousin? No way. Cousins don’t look at each other like that. Gary glared at Leesa. You’re lying.

Leesa pulled Tim between her and Gary, taking a step back. You’re being ridiculous, now let’s be minding our own business.

The music ended. Tim and Leesa made their way back to their table, dodging people and chairs. Tim seated Leesa, then went for drinks. While Leesa sat alone, she eavesdropped on her parents’ conversation at the table next to hers.

Lawrence directed a question to his dripping-in-diamonds wife, Lana. Who’s the young man?

Lana looked at the crowd spread before the head table. Oh, who? Where?

Several friends stopped talking with her as she stretched her neck to locate the elder (by eight minutes) of her two daughters. Yes, there she is. Oh, doesn’t she look lovely tonight?

Everyone sprinkled around the table agreed. Yes, yes.

And who is that young man? Leesa heard Lawrence ask Lana again.

Leesa watched Lana squint to see across the room. He’s very handsome, but I don’t recognize him. Have you seen him before?

Lawrence stood. Never, I’m quite sure.

Lana stood and tilted her head. Should we call security? I mean, I think he’s a guest. Look how they dance so close. Lyza looks like she very much enjoys his company. Did they come together?

Leesa started to panic. Oh, no, this just gets better and better. Lyza, you owe me big-time. Now I have to stop Father from calling security. She turned toward her parents’ table when Lawrence took a step towards the foyer.

Leesa got to her feet when she heard him tell Lana that he was going to check the guest list.

He turned to Leesa. We’ll find out who this mystery man is right now.

Lawrence approached the security guard in a small room off the entrance, with Leesa two steps behind him. The guard sat at a desk with several computer monitors in front of him. He sat straight at the sight of Lawrence. James, I’d like a look at the guest list, if you don’t mind.

Leesa giggled, nervous from the excitement, thinking, if you don’t mind? Of course James doesn’t mind. You’re his boss. Leesa minded, but it was out of her control. She shrugged as James handed over a clipboard with the names of those in attendance.

Lawrence inspected the list of invitees and found no new name. Then he looked again at Lyza’s name, and it simply stated ‘Lyza Lane and guest.’ Lawrence wrinkled his brow for a second as Leesa looked over his shoulder. She breathed a sigh of relief.

Afraid Lawrence might do something to embarrass Lyza, Leesa tried talking to him. Father, I know you have valid concerns.

He started back to his table and stopped. You bet I have concerns. Lyza’s accident took its toll. She was in a plane crash, for God’s sake. And you know as well as I do that she hasn’t been the same since her recovery. Sometimes I wonder if she’ll ever be her old self, and I’m not about to let some young man take advantage of the situation.

Leesa found Tim at their table, two glasses of champagne sitting in front of him. She sat next to him and put her hand on his arm. Sorry, I had a mission.

Tim lifted his glass. Here’s to a successful mission.

She clinked her glass on his and took a sip. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Lawrence coming up behind her.

Glad to see you two. Hope you’re enjoying yourselves. He smiled and took hold of Leesa’s elbow. Can I steal her away for a few moments, Tim? I promise to give her right back.

Tim turned toward the bar. Sure, I’ll get us more champagne.

Leesa frowned as Lawrence took her elbow, pulling her away. Father, what are you doing?

Lawrence bent down and whispered. Who is that young man dancing with Lyza? You know more than you’re telling.

Oh, come on, now. Leesa threw her hands into the air. That’s all I’ve heard tonight. Everyone wants to know who Lyza’s with. Please. You know, I’m here, too.

I know you are here. I also know the man who brought you, and I happen to know him well. However, that’s not the case with your sister, and you know since the accident—

Oh, do I ever know! Since the accident, everything is about Lyza. You know, Father, she’s all right. She’s a thirty-two-year-old woman. She was one of six survivors in a horrible plane crash, and all of them are doing just fine. Let her have some fun. Leesa wasn’t about to tell her father the little she knew about the mystery man, but she felt she had to say something to calm him.

Her voice softened. All I know is that Lyza met him some time ago. He’s not exactly a stranger. I’ve met him, and he’s a nice man. All right?

Well, I don’t know why she doesn’t have his name on the guest list. I find that, well, secretive.

Leesa laughed. Oh, Father, lighten up. She walked back toward the ballroom.

Lawrence frowned at the disrespect, and she heard him mutter, Young people today.

Leesa let him pass and followed him through the crowd to his table, where Tim had joined Lana, who was intently watching the young couple as they gave the orchestra a round of applause.

Lana’s right eyebrow arched. Who is he?

Lawrence stood to full height. I’m calling my investigators in the morning. It’s some fellow she met recently, probably at some board meeting. In any case, I plan to find out more soon. Leesa cringed.


You look beautiful tonight, Lyza, David whispered in her ear as they began dancing to Moon River.

She pulled apart just enough to look up at him and smile. Lyza loved dancing. That’s because I’m dancing with you. Has anyone ever told you that you’re a wonderful dancer?

You’re flirting. He grinned down at her. It’s so cute on you.

She pressed her cheek into his shoulder and smiled. She was having the time of her life. Sure, you say that now, but wait until my feet start hurting, and I get cranky. Then you won’t think I’m so cute.

He threw his head back and laughed. I cannot even imagine what cranky—you did say ‘cranky’?—looks like on Lyza Lane.

She remembered her life before the accident. Oh, be glad you haven’t seen it. It’s not pretty. I’ve been told it borders on scary. I have a lot to unlearn.

You know what? I think you’re perfect just the way you are. I love dancing with you.

I’m enjoying this evening immensely. Thank you for coming. I know this type of affair isn’t really your thing, but you came anyway. I appreciate it.

I’m glad you asked me. This is an exquisite evening. Like I said, I’m enjoying myself. There must be every kind of orchid in the world represented here. I suppose that’s as it should be, since this is the annual ‘Save the Orchids’ benefit. Now, how many years is it—the eleventh?

Lyza felt her face warm. Tonight is mother’s kick off for the second decade of saving the orchids. That’s why she decided to hold it here again. Mother discovered orchids were in danger of becoming extinct. She loves orchids and couldn’t bear the thought of a world without orchids. Now it all seems too silly.

David held her a little closer. Orchids add much beauty to this world. This room is a perfect example. I feel like I’m in the rainforest. Everything here seems bigger than life. Even those ice sculptures look like something da Vinci created, although they probably wouldn’t be in the rainforest.

Lyza laughed. Ice sculptures in the rainforest? Yes, that’s Mother, sparing no expense to fuel her fantasies. I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself. You’re oblivious to all the attention you’re getting.

David swiveled his head around to survey the entire room. I’m getting attention? How? What do you mean?

Leesa’s date keeps looking over here. In fact, they keep following us around the dance floor. I think he wants an introduction.

It’s all right. You can introduce me. I don’t mind.

Lyza tensed slightly. No, no, I want to keep you all to myself for a while. No introductions tonight.

Keep me to yourself? Lyza, I’m not here to make any impressions. I’m here just to be with you, but I understand. I’m way beyond my social status here. It’s all right, Lyza, I really do understand.

I know that, but—oh, no, it’s Father. He’s coming over here, and I don’t want to talk with him.

Lyza started leading the dance, and they crossed to the other side of the room toward an exit door. She pushed open the door, and they stood in a lavish wide hallway. We can hide here. I can count on Father getting distracted in a few minutes.

David Gabriel laughed. You’re hiding me from your father? Listen, Lyza, I understand the wide gap in our social standings, but do you think it’s wise? I’m not afraid to meet your father. We can leave, or I can go. Whichever.

She smiled a different smile this time; it had just a tinge of mischief in it. I’m not willing to share you with my father right now. Sometime in the future I will, but not tonight.

David looked over her shoulder to see a waiter walk by the end of the hall. I don’t know exactly what’s going on here, but I trust you. By that I mean, I trust that what you are doing is all right, and that no one is going to get hurt over this.

No one is going to get hurt. This isn’t all about social status. I hope you don’t think I’m that small. Then she thought, Though truthfully, I might be somewhat.

Chapter Two

Tim was hot on the trail of Lyza and her mysterious date. Where did they go?

Leesa stopped dancing. Are you still trying to hunt Lyza down? I think it’s time to go back to our table.

Begrudgingly, he followed her to their table. They were right next to us, then disappeared into nowhere. He shrugged and looked back at the flock of people on the dance floor. Other couples decided to take a break during the orchestra’s intermission and seated themselves around the table.

Tim started quizzing people. Have you seen Lyza and her date?

One of the young ladies answered, No, not for a while. Who is that guy she’s with?

Leesa raised both eyebrows. That seems to be the question of the evening. ‘Who is Lyza dancing with tonight?’ She whispered, His name is Bond, James Bond. If I tell you any more, he’ll have to kill you.

The women at the table laughed. Some of the men snickered.

One of the men pointed at Lawrence and Lana, who were whispering together at their own table. Speculation abounds.

Tim looked at Leesa. Since when does she bring someone we don’t know? There’s something going on, that’s for sure.

The orchestra began playing Mac the Knife.


Out in the hall, David took Lyza’s hand. Look, if you feel uncomfortable or threatened in any way, we can leave. Let me take you away from all of this. We can go to a quiet place and sit and talk.

David, I would love to leave. A couple years ago, Leesa and I left early and weren’t even missed. Lyza laughed. We went bowling. It was a scream. Nobody ever mentioned us leaving early, so we know they had no clue that we left. This year is different. My date isn’t a friend of the family who is expected to escort me to events such as these. You’re the center of attention tonight, because no one knows who you are or where you come from.

David shook his head. Wait a minute. Leesa knows me.

Leesa has met you and knows a little bit about you, but she’s sworn to secrecy.

Sworn to secrecy? Now that sounds ominous. Am I that much of a threat?

Lyza looked into his deep blue eyes. Oh, yes, you certainly are a threat. Grinning provocatively, she gave him a little peck on the nose.

Well, what does the ‘center of attention’ and the ‘obvious threat’ do for the rest of the evening if we stay?

Lyza took his hand and pulled him toward the back entrance. Let’s go outside. We can walk the gardens. I’ll give you a tour of the grounds where I grew up.

They stepped through glass doors into the beautiful evening.

Look, David, we’ve got a clear night. Just look at those stars.

David looked into the sky. They’re magnificent. I can’t look at the sky without thinking of Him.

Lyza moved closer. Of Him? Oh, you mean God.

David looked down at Lyza. Yes, I mean God, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe and everything in it. It’s amazing to see His handiwork all around us. Just think: He made all we see and so much more beyond what we can see. Have you ever studied astronomy?

Oh, I’m sure I did sometime. I just never paid much attention. I’ve forgotten. Let’s see… I can tell you the planets, but I couldn’t tell you if that’s what we’re standing under. There’s the Big Dipper. Lyza pointed almost directly above them. "I’ve taken a lot for granted in the past. I never thought about God creating stars or the universe—or anything, for that matter. After the plane crash, I knew He existed, but before then everything just was, and I never ever thought about how it got here."

David followed her gaze to the Big Dipper. It’s amazing, when you study the things God created all around us. But the stars, those magnificent stars, teach us so much about Him and about us. For instance, did you know that there is only one star in our solar system?

It’s the sun. It sounds weird to call the sun a star, but I do remember that the sun is a star, it’s very hot, and it’s ninety-three million miles away.

You do know about the sun. Do you know how big it is?

Lyza led him to a stone bench in the center of the rose garden. No, how big is it? They sat down, still watching the sky.

David turned to Lyza. It’s about one million times the size of the earth.

Her eyes widened. No kidding?

To be more exact, it’s nine hundred sixty thousand times larger than the earth. I once went to a concert, and the speaker was Louie Giglio. I’ll never forget when he said, ‘If the earth was a golf ball, the sun would be fifteen feet in diameter. That is so big you could put nine hundred sixty thousand Earths inside the sun.’ That blew me away because the sun is one of the smaller stars in the universe.

"That’s unreal. Nine hundred sixty thousand Earths would fit into the sun? Are you sure?

Louie Giglio wouldn’t lie.

That blows me away, too. Sometimes it’s hard to get my head around the fact that God cares so much for me. With creations like the sun, how does He even see me? Yet I know He sees me, because He came to me when my Swiss Air flight fell out of the sky. I have so much to learn, and no one to talk to about it, certainly not my family. They’d never understand that when I cried out to God, Jesus showed up. Jews don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah. My parents aren’t religious, but they’re loyal to their Jewish heritage.

They faced each other, and light shone from their eyes. Joy and happiness radiated from David as he felt the presence of the Lord there in the garden outside the Lane Mansion with Lyza.

Leesa called from the lanai, Lyza! Lyza! Lyza, are you out there? Yes, you are. I see you, so don’t try to hide.

Lyza put her finger to her lips and answered in a loud whisper, Okay, you found me. What’s happening in there?

David looked up at Leesa. Leesa is nothing like Lyza.

Leesa stepped near the wrought iron railing. Mother decided to do a mixer-type dance. Everyone ends up with a different partner so people get to meet other people. Guess who she wants to meet?

Seriously? Lyza leaned against David.

Leesa grinned. No, but I shook you up, didn’t I? Everyone wants to know who your date is.

Leesa, we’re having a good time. I’m not sixteen anymore, so I guess I can have a date without the inspection crew.

Leesa brushed the hair from her eyes. We both know better. Father will check David out. Bringing him here tonight opened the door. I’ve already been grilled. Everyone keeps asking, ‘Where did she meet him? How long has she known him?’ It’s the topic of the evening; forget the orchids.

Lyza pleaded, Leesa, please. Oh, I think we’re going to leave before we stop enjoying the evening.

Unless you’re ready for the big reveal, you probably should. Leesa backed through the French doors and closed them.

David took her hand. Are you ready for the big reveal?

I’m ready for whatever presents itself. There’s no reason this has to be such a big deal. We’re on a date. We’re not getting married.

Not tonight, anyway, David thought. Is there a way to the car from here?

Great idea. Let’s go to my place.

Your place sounds great, but let’s go somewhere people won’t be calling or dropping by to check me out.

You name it. I trust you.


Leesa tried to hide, but Lawrence caught her coming into the ballroom. Where did she go? I saw her here a few minutes ago. You know better than to hold out on your father.

Really, Father, I have no idea. Where’s Mother? I’m sure she would like to dance.

Your mother can dance anytime she wants to. I’m talking to you right now.

You can talk to me, but I’m off to find Tim before the orchestra leaves. Leesa quickly turned and knocked over a mermaid, one of the smaller ice sculptures. See what you made me do?

Stepping around the several pieces of ice, she made her way to the bar. She spotted Tim, Gary, and Julie, with another vaguely familiar couple.

Leesa motioned to Tim. Watch out for attacking ice sculptures. One tried to get me, but I struck it down!

Gary sounded sour. I’m surprised you didn’t jump up on the pedestal tonight for all of us to view.

Wow, what does that mean? Tim challenged.

Gary stood. Nothing, but it’s obvious that Leesa would like a little attention. That’s your job, buddy.

Thanks for reminding me what a jerk you are. I had nearly forgotten, but then that might be why Lyza’s with someone else tonight.

Gary took Julie’s hand. "Touché. Mark one up for the Tim. Let’s dance."

Leesa whispered in Tim’s ear. Remember year before last? We talked about it earlier.

I remember it well. How would you like to go bowling tonight?

I would absolutely love it. Tim, you’re the best!

The sound system blared. Ladies and gentlemen, a word from our hostess and sponsors, Lana and Lawrence Lane.

Lana walked onto center stage. We want to thank everyone here for their support of the ‘Save the Orchids’ campaign. I also want to thank everybody who has worked so hard for the cause. Orchids are the most beautiful flowers on this earth. There are thousands of species of orchids, and they sort of remind me of the people in my life. I hope you all appreciate the fact that when I think of you, my dear friends, I see beautiful orchids.

She motioned for Lawrence to come join her and put the microphone in his hand.

Well, what can I add to that? Everyone politely laughed. "We just want to thank you all for coming back year after year. Of course, you all know that the orchid cause is something Lana picked up years ago—before we knew anything about global warming. Therefore,

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